It goes by many names, but float tank therapy is sweeping the world with its suspended-in-space feeling that has countless benefits for the mind.
Owner Joe Iozzi and his partner had been planning to start a float tank therapy business for quite some time. It all goes back to the Joe Rogan Podcast, a popular online programme that frequently espouses the benefits of using a sensory deprivation tank.
Float tank therapy consists of a large sensory deprivation tank that seals off sound and sight, with more than enough space for one person. The tank is filled with 10 inches of water and over 450 kilogrammes of magnesium sulphate, which makes the water incredibly buoyant. With the absence of any light and sound, the person feels as though floating in a zero gravity environment, helping relieve stress on the mind, soreness in muscles and allowing joints to recover quicker.
“We thought it would be ideal to have it on Soi Ta-ied, which is home to professional fighters from across the world, and all of the people training here could use it for its benefits to their athletic advantage,” Iozzi says.
The hour-long sessions are akin to forced meditation, where participants are completely surrounded by silence and darkness in the name of increasing calmness, achieving psychological balance and blocking out sensory overload in their everyday lives.
“The mental aspect of it is a little more tricky and has massive gains once achieved. It gives you strong clarity and goal-orientated focus for sportsmen, problem solving, visualisation or just helping you explore your own consciousness to wonderful extremes.”
Though fighters on Phuket’s famed “Muay Thai street” are taking advantage of the mental, goal-oriented benefits – visualising their fights and winning ways – others are using float tank therapy to help overcome injuries.
A perfect example is Johnnie, who got hurt while conducting private military security operations. Coupled with a motorbike accident in Phuket, Johnnie was suffering with two broken ribs, a bad back, and a previous facial injury. After putting Vaseline to cover his cuts, Johnnie floated in the tank to wondrous benefits.
“I could feel the pain radiating and emitting through my back, similar to the feeling you get from standing in the same position too long and your feet radiate pain and start to throb when you eventually take the weight off. I could feel the pain and tension leaving my body whilst in the tank,” he says.
“The pain in my lower back has completely gone, my ribs still took a lot of healing, but I think the float experience took away the muscle spasms and tension from around my ribs from the bike accident,” he adds.
While many find it easy to meditate during a session because of the sensory deprivation, Iozzi has had clients who talk of hallucinations while inside the tank.
“Someone just recently thought he passed over to another dimension and back. Even we get taken back as to how far some people’s minds can expand inside the tank,” he says.
Thailand has an abundance of silent retreats around the Kingdom, where participants eat one meal a day and make meditation an all-day endeavor with retreats lasting as long as 30 days. Float tank therapy provides a safe space for participants to essentially do the same thing for one hour at a time, forcing the mind to be introspective while floating in space.
“We would recommend that you go inside the tank for your first float without any expectations except to relax, and if you have a goal in mind to focus on that. If your mind takes you in other directions then just go with it and you might be surprised where you end up,” Iozzi says.
“Floating is much like meditation, for some people it can take a few tries at it to achieve more and more. Mainly just enjoy it!” he adds.
Moo 1, Soi Ta-ied, Chalong, Phuket
098 712 1421, 092 757 8937
Packages start at B1,200 for 45 minutes.